James Martin's Duck-Egg Sponge with Blackberry Jam


From James Martin’s best-selling Islands to Highlands cookbook, this deliciously light sponge cake is filled with Drambuie cream and showcases seasonal hedgerow blackberries in a showstopping dessert.

  • Serves
  • Prepare
    30 minutes
  • Bake
    25-30 minutes
  • Cooling
    5 minutes


For the cake

  • 250g Salted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 250g Caster sugar
  • 4 Duck eggs, beaten (can be substituted with 5 hen’s eggs)
  • 250g Self-raising flour


For the filling

  • 300g Blackberries
  • 300g Caster sugar
  • 15ml Drambuie Honeyed Liqueur
  • 300ml Double cream


To decorate

  • Handful of blackberries/brambles (with leaves if you like)
  • Icing sugar, to dust



1. Grease and line 2 x 23cm cake tins with greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan)/350°F, gas 4.

2. Beat the softened butter and sugar together in a large bowl, using either a wooden spoon or an electric hand whisk, until the mixture looks pale and creamy. Gradually add the eggs, a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift over the flour and gently fold in until the mixture looks smooth.

3. Divide the cake batter evenly between the lined tins and roughly level off with the back of the spoon. If you gently drop each tin onto the work surface it will help level off the mixture completely.

4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer or cocktail stick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then turn each cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely, removing the greaseproof paper.

5. Meanwhile, make the jam. Put the blackberries, sugar and Drambuie Honeyed Liqueur into a large saucepan and heat gently to dissolve the sugar. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes until you have a jam, then set aside to cool.

6. In a bowl, whip the double cream to a soft peak.

7. Place one of the sponges onto a large serving plate or cake plate, and spoon the jam on top, spreading it out to the edge, then repeat with the whipped double cream. Sit the other sponge on top and decorate with blackberries, a few leaves (if using – watch out for thorns!) and a dusting of icing sugar.




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